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Court hears wife 'taunted' murder accused
A GULF war veteran accused of murdering his wife said she would humiliate and ‘taunt’ him about her new lover, a court heard.
Scots-born John McGrory, 46, was interviewed by psychiatrists in the months after he killed his wife at their Wooburn Green home, telling them he felt angry and betrayed by her affair, jurors heard.
Wife Marie, 39, had met a man in Glasgow called Ed McGuinness, who was the same age as McGrory, had the same job, was also ex-army, and even supported his football team, Celtic, the court heard.
McGrory told psychiatrists that Marie, who was better known as ‘Milly’ and worked as a care assistant, would sometimes try to show him photographs of the new boyfriend and make “digging remarks”, the court heard.
The court heard McGrory told one psychiatrist: “Marie would rub my face in it… buy underwear and leave it on the bed for me to see it.”
Giving evidence yesterday, McGrory said there were also suggestions that he would have to move out of their Holtspur Avenue home to make way for Mr McGuinness.
He strangled Marie with a dog lead on January 3 this year, the morning after she returned home from seeing Mr McGuinness, Reading Crown Court has heard.
McGrory denies murder, saying he cannot remember the killing, but admits manslaughter, Reading Crown Court has heard.
He said he visited Cherrymead Surgery in Loudwater just days before the incident because he was depressed and struggling to cope with his marital problems.
He was referred to an NHS mental health service and given a self-assessment form to fill out, which was later found by investigators at the couple’s home, the court heard.
Though many of McGrory’s answers on the form indicated his symptoms were severe, psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph, a prosecution witness, said there was an “inherent unreliability” to the responses.
Dr Joseph said McGrory is of “low average intelligence” and some of the scores he entered on the self-assessment form were so high that he would be unable to work and would instead be “virtually incapacitated”.
He said this was not the case, as McGrory had been holding down a job as a lorry driver and “getting on with his life”.
He suggested McGrory was “a bit on the miserable side”, as his wife’s affair was “eating into him”, but did not believe he was suffering from a depressive disorder.
He thought McGrory’s dominant emotions at the time of the killing were anger and betrayal, and there was no “abnormality of mental function” – which the defence has asked the jury to consider.
However, Dr Joseph said his opinion differed from that of another psychiatrist, Dr Philip Hopley, who also interviewed the defendant at Oxfordshire’s Bullingdon Prison.
Dr Hopley, appearing for the defence yesterday, believed McGrory was suffering from a depressive disorder of moderate severity at the time of the killing.
He said the condition can reduce someone’s ability to form rational judgements and withstand stress and pressure, and thought this would have been a “very relevant and significant factor” in the attack.
He said there is "compelling evidence" that he was suffering from the condition, adding it "would have impacted similarly on any particular sufferer" - in terms of their ability to think clearly and excercise self-control.
The court heard McGrory tended to keep his emotions to himself, and Dr Hopley said of his visit to the doctor in late December last year: “When a man of his background takes the step to share with a doctor that level of distress – I think that’s very significant."
The trial continues.